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BMW uses fear of Tesla and other EVs to rally employees into electric revolution

Elon Musk wanted Tesla to create a sense of urgency for other automakers to move faster on electric vehicles and accelerate the overall transition to sustainable transport. It helped for some, but others still don’t take Tesla or EVs seriously.

It’s certainly not the case for BMW anymore since the company is now saying that it was under “an electric assault” in reference to Tesla and other automakers working on electric vehicles. The German automaker seems now more inclined to move into the electric vehicle space.

We have been really suspicious of BMW’s plan for electrification mainly because they seem to have left an unnecessary 7-year gap in their electrification effort between the launch of ‘BMW i’ with the i3 in 2013 and the next ‘i’ vehicle, which is expected in 2020-2021.

But the company has shown signs of taking electrification more seriously over the past few months and never more than at this strange event recently. 

“Inside a bright auditorium at an abandoned airfield near Munich, rows of men and women gaze at images flashing by on a giant screen: a Mercedes sedan; Porsche and Jaguar SUVs; the face of Elon Musk. “We’re in the midst of an electric assault,” the presenter intones as the Tesla chief’s photo pops up. “This must be taken very seriously.”

Bloomberg reports that BMW has been holding similar training events for employees and using “pep rally/horror film intended to make them afraid about the future of the industry.”

Last month, they were talking about 15 to 25% of their sales being “electric” (PHEVs and BEVs) by 2025. It’s a significant increase from the current levels since they expect to sell about 100,000 electric vehicles in 2017 and BMW sells about 2 million cars per year.

Hopefully, those recent efforts will translate to actual investments into more volume electric vehicle production. At the very least, it shows that Musk’s plan for Tesla to accelerate the advent of electric transport not only through Tesla’s own products but also through other automakers is actually working.

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